Sunday, September 11, 2011

It's Been Ten Years

And I can't even believe it. I'm writing this post before the actual anniversary and my heart breaks as I think back to that emotional and horrible day in America's history.

I can't believe it's September already. September 2011. Ten full years have passed. So many memories have been made, so much love, so much growth. And then, on this day - above all others - we stop to remember. We never forget.

September is a month of beginnings. It's a month where the weather starts cooling off, people relax a little bit as the heat fades away. For many, like myself, we celebrate the Jewish New Year. We wish sweetness and blessings upon our loved ones with joyful treats like apples and honey.

But when I look back to a September ten years ago, there is so much I remember and will never forget. So much that I can't begin to describe. To find the words to do it justice. And yet - every single year since - I try.

The change in skyline.

That single spot where two bright lights shine into the sky on the anniversary of the day we lost so much. The towers fell. My daughter will never know the skyline as it used to be. That day, in September 2001, I spoke to my sister-in-law and we imagined how we'd explain what was before to the children we didn't yet have. I still haven't figured that out, and my daughter is four.

The emotion. The memories. The loss and the love.

I think that much of America froze that Tuesday morning. Our bodies stilled. Our minds did not. Our minds raced. We thought of everyone and anyone we knew. In New York. In DC. In Pennsylvania.

Did we know anyone flying that day? Working downtown? Near or in the White House? The Pentagon? What on earth was happening? And then it sunk in. A plane? Into a building? Not just any building? The World Trade Center? What? Both? The towers? Gone? Gone. Simply gone.

Our hearts burst.

Our eyes flooded.

We were in shock. In awe. In pain.

We banded together. Somehow more than many would have expected.

And we continue to do so. Every year. In honor and memory. With respect of those gone and those who remain. Lost without their loved ones. We try to remember, with a trace of time that cushions us. Let's us forget just a little bit.

And we hold our loved ones closer, if only for the day.

We talk together. Remember where we were when we heard the news. Those of us close by. Those of us at home, turning channels, making phone calls. Those of us walking the city streets towards a home forever changed. Together. Listening to televisions in store windows. Watching fighter planes fly overhead. Wiping tears. Holding one another up. Today we reflect. I reflect on that day. Those moments.

Remembering as history changed forever.

I thought I'd take a moment or two to add to this, as I am posting it now, live ... on the actual morning of September 11, 2011. I am feeling heavy-hearted this morning. I feel sad. My eyes are on the verge of tears as I skim some posts of remembrance. Some tweets from the memorial or from those watching. I can't do it. Not today. I'm blessed to have a four-year-old who I would love to shelter from this experience and exposure as best I can while I still can. There will be plenty of time for her to learn that there are bad people in this world. And that so many lost loved ones because of them. And that her mommy and daddy were there. And that her daddy saw the second plane fly past his office window. And that her mommy watched the second tower fall in the same room as a co-worker whose son was in there. Lost in the rubble.

My beautiful four-year-old is the reason I changed the channel as I listened to the names. No disrespect intended. I will watch the memorial service when I am ready (that's what DVRs are for). When she is not in the room.

There is no harm in our moving forward today. Loving those we love. Calling those who mean so much to us just to remind them. And holding our children, our loved ones, our memories - all of them - closer to our hearts today.

Because I, for one, know that I will always remember. I will never forget.

How could anyone possibly?


  1. Andrea,

    --beautifully written.

    Always Remembered. NEVER forgotten. NEVER. Thank you.

  2. We have tried to avoid talking about it while JDaniel is around too. It deserves to be remembered, but not with him.

  3. Beautiful post, Andrea.

    I can't even imagine how hard it is to think about, given that you were there. I wasn't there but my sister was in DC... at the time we all didn't know what would happen next and it worried me that she was so close to the capital.

    Just the thought of that day brings tears to my eyes. Yet I watched it on tv, not as you had to experience it.

    I'm sorry you had to go through that. It's been said a thousand times over... but we'll never forget.

  4. Beautifully written. Thank you!

  5. Yesterday was a really tough day for me... on that day I was more affected than most, but not nearly as affected as so many... Spent the day watching NY football with a friend who lost a treasured family member in the aftermath due to complications he developed from sorting through the rubble at Potter's Field. It helped some... to be with a fellow NYer.

    I will never forget!

  6. I couldn't watch the coverage either. I just don't want to relive those scenes. I remember, and that's enough for me.

  7. I am sheltering my kids from this for now. It is heartbreaking. I will explain it to them when they are a little older.

    Well written post.

  8. I couldn't watch much of the coverage this weekend. I wasn't on fb or twitter much... I just needed to remember in my own way.


Comments are like air to a writer.

So please - say something - help me BREATHE!